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HST 214: African-American History

Course Prefix

Course Number

Course Title


Credit Hours



African-American History



Course Description

Studies African-Americans from African slave trade through slavery, reconstruction, years of neglect, and civil rights revolution in the United States and their contributions to American culture.

Topical Outline

  1. From Africa to America
  2. The African-American in Colonial America
  3. The African-American and the Revolutionary War Period
  4. Shadow of Slavery
  5. African-Americans without Masters
  6. The Day of Freedom
  7. Reconstruction: The Dream Betrayed
  8. A Time of Transition
  9. Reaction and Renaissance
  10. The African-American in a Time of Democratic Crisis
  11. From Sit-in to Soul: the 1950’s and 1960’s
  12. The Present: A Second Reconstruction

Method of Presentation

  1. Lecture
  2. Discussion
  3. Historical literature
  4. Audio-visual aids

Student Outcomes (The student should…)

  1. identify and explain the cultural roots of African-Americans as evident in their heritage from West Africa. 
  2. determine and compare the experiences of the earliest African-Americans with the experiences of African-Americans who lived in the era of slavery.
  3. explain and analyze the social and economic factors which resulted in the institution of African slavery in the New World.
  4. compare and analyze the variety of historiographic theories regarding the origins of African slavery in the New World.
  5. determine the reasons why African slavery developed and accelerated in the southern regions of colonial North America.
  6. comprehend and investigate the multiplicity of experiences lived by African-Americans during the American Revolution.
  7. relate and compare the various forms of resistance used by African-American slaves against the institution of slavery.
  8. integrate the merging of African and European cultures, and analyze its significance in shaping the unique social history of the United States.
  9. explain and analyze the role that the issue of slavery played in establishing the origins of the Civil War.
  10. comprehend and investigate the multiplicity of experiences lived by African-Americans during the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
  11. compare and analyze the variety of historiographic theories regarding the role of Reconstruction’s importance in American history.
  12. investigate the temporary unity of whites and blacks in the Populist movement.
  13. determine and analyze the socio-economic and political factors which institutionalized segregation in the American South.
  14. explain and interpret the social goals and artistic visions of the artists who excelled during the Harlem Renaissance.
  15. compare and interpret the expressions of racist ideologies in American history.
  16. explain the socio-economic progress of African-Americans in the 20th century.
  17. explain and analyze precursors of the Civil Rights movement.
  18. relate, apply, and interpret the role of non-violent civil disobedience at a method seeking social justice in the Civil Rights movement.
  19. relate and interpret the reasons for the split between violent and non-violent methods of protest that occurred in the Civil Rights movement.
  20. determine and analyze the links between contemporary issues facing African-Americans as these issues relate to the history that produced them.
  21. relate and discuss their questions and emerging interpretations of the material and ideas presented in the course.
  22. read, analyze, and interpret a secondary work of history or work of fiction as it pertains to the content of African-American history.

Method of Evaluation

  1. Two examinations and a comprehensive final examination
  2. Essays and position papers on topics assigned by the instructor
  3. Team project
  4. Case studies
  5. Critical review


Jacobs. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. 2003.

Hine. African Americans: A Concise History. 2nd edition. Prentiss Hall, 2009.

Burns. To the Mountaintop: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Mission to Save America, 1955–1968, 2005.

Prepared by: Thomas DePalma, Fall, 2008